I was in foster care from age 12 or 13 until I aged out my biomonster TPR I was never adopted. Can I gain access to my own records? State is Oklahoma. It's been 13 years since I was in the system if that matters.
I tried to get a copy of my records a few years ago and they said no. They seemed suspicious of why I wanted them (I just needed them to fill in some blanks about my childhood) and said the records belong to them so I couldn't have them. When I persisted they said I could come by and read them, but their was so much blacked out I didn't really find out much. I hope it works out better for you.
In our state (OR) they would have let Dh have access but they were destroyed by the time he inquired. I'm not sure if he could have had copies or not, because he never got to that point.
Ask, and if they refuse, get a lawyer to ask. Sometimes the fact that a lawyer types it up on his letterhead makes a difference. I've been refused my medical records before, so just because someone says no doesn't mean that is legal.
As an adoptive parent, I had the right to look at the file during a small window of time. I had to go into their office to view. I could not make copies, but could take notes. This was allowed during their work hours (I had to take vacation time to see what I did see) after we were approved to adopt up to 30 days after the adoption. Then they closed the file. They did go through and give me some stuff from the file, like her original birth certificate.
I would think that if an adoptive parent had the right to view, you as the "child" would at least have that right or more.
I agree, get an attorney.
It's a matter of filing out the right paperwork here and of them still having your files.
I was told that my daughter's records would be sealed after the adoption was final. I made sure to get a copy before they were. The way I understood it, nobody could go back and open them. Not sure on that though and don't know about OK. I sure hope you can get them.
One issue you might run into is File Retention. Federally files are required to be retained for 7 yrs. Some files are kept longer, such as adoption records... but I'm not sure if the entire file is kept. You were never adopted so they may have destroyed your files 7yrs after you exited foster care. Likely figuring a case would never be reopened so there didn't seem to be a reason to keep it any longer.
I work for a state agency and retaining old paperwork is such a pain, expensive, and takes a lot of space. Now that things are going more electronic I'm hoping in the future that cases that involves CPS, APS, and similar investigative agencies will be able to keep files longer.
Good luck. If you are specific about what you are looking for, even if you aren't able to locate the file they may be able to find an employee that was once involved.
I once did foster care social work. I had some biofamilies and adoptive families that we always ran into each other. Recently I had a biofamily approach me because they wanted me to tell their children that the only reason their children were in foster care was because no family could continue to care for them and the responsible parent (dad) was finishing his drug rehab... which was all true. So eventhough they couldn't get to their records I was able to give the kids something they couldn't otherwise confirm... that their dad really did do everything he could to get them back home with him.
this is really frustrating. I keep getting the run around. I just want to see my own records. I want to ( honestly) find the name of the man that raped me. Idon't think i'll beabble to move on until I get this. I didn't know the man and he grabbed me and raped me I know he went to prision and would like to see how long etc It is just something I NEED so I can move on.
I don't know if they will let you see them, but Oklahoma has the records. When we were doing out homestudy, they pulled records that were 20 years old and asked me about them. I had already told them I had been abused so it wasn't a surpise, but I was shocked that they matched me to 20 year old records, in a town I lived in for 3 months.
On one hand I would love to read the records. I want to know if they ever tried to do anything. On the other hand, it seriously ticked me off that I had to answer questions about this like I was the criminal.